I have debated writing a blog about this. I think I’ve finally decided to do this. So, let’s have it. Here goes nothing!
I kind of liked this class. I went into it feeling really nervous. Because my friends had told me what to expect. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the map project. (a series of maps that is part of your grade in that class.) I worried about how I was going to do the tests. I worried about whether or not the tests had maps, or pictures that needed to be described. All before the first day of class I should point out that this was an online class. I would have taken one in the classroom, but there wasn’t one available.
*first day of class* *takes the attendance quiz to let the instructor know that I was going to be participating in the class. So I wouldn’t be dropped* A few weeks later: *gets email about the test. *asks instructor through replies how I’m going to take the test Tells her that I’m blind.* *continues to look for the book in any other textbook format other than print. Wants to read it on my own.* Instructor: *responds that she wasn’t told that I would be joining her class, and that I was blind. Apologizes. Asks if there’s anything I need. How do I usually take my tests?* Me: * feels really bad for not emailing her on the first day, and letting her know about my disability. Tells her how I usually take my test.* Instructor: *says she’ll send the test over to where I usually take them.*
Test time: *bad weather hits. Causing the cancelation of all classes* A couple of weeks later just about: Me: *emails instructor to ask about test.* Instructor. *admits she forgot, and apologizes* Me: *eventually takes first test. Passes.*
Map project due: Me: *panics* How am I going to do this? Me: *emails instructor with problem.* Instructor: *admits when didn’t think about it, and that she’d work on it* I should point out here that I had a few weeks before it was due. Also, I was use to being in the presence of a teacher. So, it didn’t even occur to me to email her about my blindness.
My alternative for the map project when it finally comes in is going to be turned in a little later than everyone else’s it, but that’s alright. I have her permission to do this. She tried several ideas with the office of disabilities coordinator, but none of them worked out. Finally they just had to order a Braille atlas. It was in Grade one Braille. Someone please tell me that there’s a grade two world atlas floating out there somewhere?
Now, here’s where it gets complicated. Instead of working with the only employee at the school who knows Braille, or pulling in another blind student who may or may not know how to work the embosser in the music room. She prints out all of the labels. Now admittedly, the college employee only knows grade one Braille, but I’ll take, and be grateful for whatever I get.
Yeah. You heard that. She used print labels. The whole time I was finding whatever I was suppose to find. I was thinking: “What if I had no sighted help, and no way of getting it?” I’m sure that someone at the college would’ve helped me, but print labels? I want to do as much as possible by myself. *cries inside* I don’t even like having someone read a print book to me. unless I absolutely can’t find it in another format
In all though, it was a good class. The instructor was grate about working with me. I mean she even had alternatives set up in case I needed help. You know, just in case no one was around to help me. Which, was grate in itself.
Geo instructor! If for some reason, somehow you come across this. Please know that I appreciated you helping me. While I would’ve loved to read my own textbook, or complete the map project by myself. I understand that you can’t think of everything. I hope that by reading this, or by my being in your class. You’ve learned something about blind people that you didn’t know before, and will apply it to your next blind student. Because really, that’s why I do these reflections. So, that anyone who is in the field of teaching can learn from others, or my experiences.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!